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Broadcasting from Tucson, Az: your second blog post!

I have to think of better titles. I skipped a week: I spent last Tuesday revamping the site a bit, and I feel like its corresponds more with the vibe I want to attribute 'penning dreams' with. I have many visions for my future articles and literature, and the skyline background seemed to give my site a matching aesthetic. Over time, I plan to not only blog about my life and my walk with God, but also share poetry, short stories and novel 'clippets'. I won't be posting full novels: one, they are not written yet, and two, I feel the need to keep my literary work to myself until it is published, at least in kindle form, if not in print. I work very hard, and I will not be forced to fight for what is mine.

That being said, as an author it is nearly impossible to not in some way, shape or form, allow literature, movies, etc., to influence my creative mind. As King Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun, not even the reference to this statement. Being someone with OCD, I have allowed persistent guilt over the possibility of even being slightly influenced by another source hold me back, much to the detriment of my school work and my heretofore unpursued career of actually writing something. That unnecessary guilt, however, shall not persist: if I make an actual reference to a theme in a work of literature that requires a citation or if I use a direct quote, I will include loyalties either directly in the text, in a foreword or an index. I am not going to overthink every single thing anymore. I am not going to hold myself back by allowing my fears to control me. It has prevented me from learning what my literary voice really sounds like.

This week, I am continuing my study in Romans, though I have not been consistent the last two days. I have been convicted, especially after losing my dad, who persistently rose before dawn to have his devotional time with the Lord, that I should do the same. I, however, am terrible at this. Some days I have a hard time dragging myself out of bed with enough time to get to work early. I digress, eventually I will discipline myself to stop being lazy; I'm pretty sure depression as a result of having OCD is a factor, but so is laziness.

Getting into Romans 1, I found myself convicted as Paul addressed the Christians in Rome. One of the topics he discussed was his own desire to encourage the believers there by coming to see them, which he had not yet been able to do. This made me realize the little to no effort I make in encouraging my fellow believers, even with a text. I also don't share the gospel very often, for fear of being treated differently (even by family), though as a Christian I should be ready to suffer for Jesus. My own hypocrisy sometimes prevents me from sharing it as well; I struggle with cussing, gossip and other sins, which don't reflect Christ. The last section of the chapter, verses 18-31, really strikes a chord with me, because I have been the person who chooses their own way and struggles with a depraved mind, through the endless mental arguing and chasing of rabbits that don’t even exist, until I feel like I am in a deep, dark hole. I think the development of OCD from a small problem into a huge stronghold finds its foundation in my own unwillingness to completely surrender my fears to Jesus Christ. I have a control, a fear and a trust problem. Nothing in scripture suggests that God is untrustworthy, but I have learned to trust my own sinful nature instead of God. This is not a tear down session for my own self-worth, but an- honest as I feel comfortable with - online analysis of my human condition. I know many other Christians out there struggle with these same strongholds, and others maybe I don't understand because I'm not in their shoes.

If this resonates with you, leave a comment, or send an email to rainsheartilly@gmail.com if you don't feel comfortable posting publicly. If you struggle with something else and maybe I can help you find answers, same solution. I am endlessly pursuing God because I know that I can't make it on my own, and I don't want to have to depend on meds to function. This is not to say that medicine doesn't help or is bad; it can be very effective in some people. That being said, it is not available to everyone. I currently don't have insurance, so meds are off the table for me for now, and maybe that's a good thing. I need to prove to myself that I, through my relationship with Christ, am resilient enough to take my challenges and turn them into triumphs. Thanks for reading, please come back next week for my first post featuring a work of fiction (which I have yet to write, but it will be here). I'm super excited. Love you guys!

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